Borlotti Beans

I struggle to find things that work on my plot, but French beans and recently, Borlotti beans are my favourite…

I thought I would stick my oar in and recommend growing borlotti beans. I struggle to find things that work on my plot and have more failures than successes, but French beans and recently, borlotti beans are my favourite and make me happy!
 
Growing borlotti beans turn into lovely purple pods that start to look dried out at the end of summer and that’s when I pick them. Simmer the beans in water with a bay leaf, rosemary and garlic for about 30 mins, then add salt and let stand for 10 mins. Drain, add some olive oil and lemon juice and eat. They are creamy and tasty and you can eat them in salads, as a side dish or add them to a stew, whatever you fancy. So nice and so easy.
Angie Willshaw

Rats, Squirrels Eating Sweet Corn

I noticed about that squirrels (probably) were starting to eat my ripening sweetcorn …

I noticed about that squirrels (probably – or rats?) were starting to eat my ripening sweetcorn (I had actually witnessed squirrels doing this last year). So, this time, after they had attacked the first few, I picked all the almost ready cobs – and then discovered that they were absolutely delicious and probably better than if I had left them for a bit longer. So, if the silks protruding from the cobs have turned brown they are probably ready.
 
Then, I seasoned the remaining cobs on the plants with a sprinkle of BLACK PEPPER and CHILLI POWDER. This, especially the black pepper, seemed to last despite the rain. A week or so later, no further attacks have been made and I was able to pick another couple of gorgeous ones today. And I then re-seasoned them all.
 
Worth a try then (unless the little so-and-sos develop a taste for curries)?
The Solution.
The Evidence!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The Reward!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Ros Dunlevey, plot 37

Potato Blight

Some time in August, especially when the weather is warm and damp, our potatoes plants start showing signs of blight.

Some time in August, especially when the weather is warm and damp, our potatoes plants start showing signs of blight.
 
How do I know if I’ve got it?
Black spots on the leaves, surrounded with a watery looking “halo”, quickly spreading and turning the potato tops to mush – not to be confused with normal die-back when the plants are mature.
Blight just starting.
Advanced blight, killing off whole plants.
Not blight. Normal yellowing and die-back.
What should I do if (when!) my plants get it?
Cut the tops off, clear up all blighted bits and bury them in your compost to decay over the winter.  The spores only live for a couple of weeks without living potato tissue.  Do not move blighted tops around the site and infect other peoples’ crops.  Leave the potatoes in the ground for two or three weeks before you dig them so that any spores on the surface die off before they reach the tubers. Check potatoes in storage every month or so for signs of rotting tubers.
 
You can still dig a few any time for immediate use.
 
How can I avoid potato blight?
You can either grow early varieties, like Kestrel and Charlotte, which are ready before the blight strikes, or grow resistant main crop varieties like Sarpo Mira.
 
For more information, see the RHS web site:  https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?pid=217 .
 
 

All in June

: William Henry Davies

A week ago I had a fire
To warm my feet, my hands and face;
Cold winds, that never make a friend,
Crept in and out of every place.

Today the fields are rich in grass,
And buttercups in thousands grow;
I’ll show the world where I have been–
With gold-dust seen on either shoe.

Till to my garden back I come,
Where bumble-bees for hours and hours
Sit on their soft, fat, velvet bums,
To wriggle out of hollow flowers.

William Henry Davies

Our Last Work Party

We had a successful work party to finish tidying up the edges of the public footpath

We had a successful work party to finish tidying up the edges of the public footpath on Saturday, 17 March. We managed to fill all the puddles on our bit of the  Meanwood Valley trail with crushed stone which was kindly supplied by the Council’s Park and Countryside division.

There was plenty of  help, including several members of the public who had found about it.   We had our usual high standard of refreshments and jolly company!

Work Parties

Hollin Lane Allotments are running work parties to improve the surface of the Meanwood Valley Trail where it runs past the allotments. Everyone is welcome to help out.

Hollin Lane Allotments are running two work parties to improve the surface of the Meanwood Valley Trail where it runs past the allotments. The dates are

  • Saturday 24 Feb, from 10am
  • Sunday 25 Feb, from 2pm.

Meet by our main gate, down the dirt track from the bottom of Hollin Drive LS16, or just turn up and announce yourself to the people there.

The work will involve scraping some mud off the surface of the path and filling puddles with crushed stone. Some tools and wheelbarrows will be provided by the allotments. The stone is provided by the Council’s Rights of Way manager. Many thanks to Cllr Sue Bentley for facilitating this.

There will be hot drinks and delicious home-made cakes. Our work parties are usually quite fun. We are hoping for a turnout from people who live nearby, or who just use this footpath.

Ancient Music

: Ezra Pound

Winter is icummen in,
Lhude sing Goddamm.
Raineth drop and staineth slop,
And how the wind doth ramm!
Sing: Goddamm.

Skiddeth bus and sloppeth us,
An ague hath my ham.
Freezeth river, turneth liver,
Damn you, sing: Goddamm.

Goddamm, Goddamm, ’tis why I am, Goddamm,
So ‘gainst the winter’s balm.

Sing goddamm, damm, sing Goddamm.
Sing goddamm, sing goddamm, DAMM.

Ezra Pound

New Gates

We have new secure main gates to match the fence, thanks to Leeds Wellbeing Fund from the Inner North West Community Committee.

After our new fence was installed along the bottom of our site there was still one big gap in our security: the old main gates. These were very solidly built, but only about five feet high and easy to climb or to pass stolen items over. Also, they were too narrow to allow large delivery lorries to come through. For these reasons we wanted to replace them with new gates which were taller, wider, strong, and like the new fence. Expensive!

We applied for grants, and Leeds City Council’s Wellbeing Fund from the Inner North West Community Committee awarded us a generous £1370. This was enough for a beautiful new gate from Airedale Fencing, the same firm that did our new fence.

Brambling

: Lucy Newlyn, from Ginnel

Mouths bloodied purple, fingers antennae
trembling for the touch of hidden fruit –

foragers scouring the hinterland,
eyes skinned for dark swell of berry.

Our days are long, and battle-scarred
with brambling. Brummels lade our nights;

all our tomorrows are a hooked tunnel
of bummelkites. We move hungrily

among edges, hunting for certainties:
scavengers off a darkened street,

hardened hierophants
in the sacred lore of blackberries.

We love beck-sides, and derelict places
where branches scramble out of sight –

behind nettles, under hawthorns, sidling
through bracken. We are long-armed

with reaching for the woody stems
that clamber at an immense height.

But most of all we love the brambles
arching spindly over walls in ginnels –

stray offerings from untidy ends of gardens,
bending with plump black weight.

Lucy Newlyn, from Ginnel

January cold desolate

: Christina Georgina Rossetti

January cold desolate;
February all dripping wet;
March wind ranges;
April changes;
Birds sing in tune
To flowers of May,
And sunny June
Brings longest day;
In scorched July
The storm-clouds fly
Lightning-torn;
August bears corn,
September fruit;
In rough October
Earth must disrobe her;
Stars fall and shoot
In keen November;
And night is long
And cold is strong
In bleak December.

Christina Georgina Rossetti